(OH-teh-toor frah AHS-ker)

Skandia CD, tracks 33 and 34


Credible English Title Eightsome from Asker.


Heritage Norway.
Category Group dance.
Motivation and application Both recreational- and performance-oriented.


Type Triple-meter (3/4).


Function Group dance for 4 couples, but can be done with any number of couples in a small circle.
Character and form Lilting and dignified.
Footwork Parallel and opposite.
Specific steps Special dip-step (described below), slow waltz turn.
Dance holds Simple ring hold.  Closed shoulder-waist hold.
Formation 4 or more couples in a ring, W on M's R, all hands joined high, just above shoulder level and outstretched somewhat toward center of ring.



1 - 8
A.  Ring CW and CCW:

Weight on R foot during introduction.  On pick-up note, rise on R foot, extending L leg to own L, and step on L on first beat of first measure, to begin 8 dip-steps (as described below) CW in ring.  On 8th step, turn CW on ball of R foot, at same time swinging L foot (straight out with extended toe) around to own R, . . .
9 - 16 and step on L foot on first beat of following measure, to begin 8 more dip-steps in opposite direction (CCW) in ring, turning to face partner at end of CCW dip-steps.

17 - 24
B.  Chain forward and reverse:

Extending R hand (at shoulder level) to partner, beginning on L foot and using same dip-steps, begin Chain (R and L Grand), M moving CCW, W moving CW.  After passing own partner as number 1, change hands with 4 more persons.  At end of 8th measure of chain, person number 5 is met with R hand, which is held rather high so that M and W can peek at each other as they each turn halfway around CW with 2 dip-steps to exchange places and direction.  M now faces CW and W faces CCW.  During this turn M's L hand is held low on hip, fingers forward and thumb back, and W's L hand holds her skirt.
25 - 32 Reverse chain is now begun with L hand, M moving CW, W moving CCW, back to original partner, where dancers meet in partner's place (i.e., facing wrong direction), and wait out the remainder of the musical phrase.  During this time M folds arms over chest, and W holds her skirt out wide for the Honors to follow.

33 - 34
C.  Honors and Waltz turn:

After the pick-up note, and on the first 2 measure (6 counts) of the ensuing waltz, M bows deeply to his partner while W curtsies deeply (as described below).  Count:  down, 2, 3, up, 5, 6.
35 - 46 Couples (who must not be too far apart) immediately take closed shoulder-waist hold and dance 12 waltz steps, turning CW and progressing forward in LOD (CCW).
47 - 48 Releasing closed position, W moves to R of M, letting her L hand glide down over his arm until it meets his R hand, M holding his arm out to assist her.  As soon as hands are joined, W holds her skirt with R hand, M holds L hand on hip (as above), and partners take light greeting (a nod of the head).  Then W extends her R hand to corner M and they join to form a ring again, changing weight to R foot, and taking first step with L foot as before, at beginning of A.
  Dance is repeated as above.  At conclusion, ring is not re-formed, but partners exchange light honors in place.

Dip-step as danced in Åttetur:

This step is special for this Norwegian dance.  It can best be described as "DOWN-up-down" in motion, alternating the feet on the heavy first beat, and is danced as follows:

Beginning, weight on R foot, with a slight dip and lift on the upbeat, at which time L foot is extended forward; step L on Count 1, simultaneously bending L knee to make primary down- motion or dip.  Straighten knee to come up on ball of L foot on Count 2, at the same time extending R foot forward.  Bend L knee again slightly on Count 3 to make a secondary down- motion.  Then repeat this action with R foot lead.  When stepping forward, tip of toe is set down first, letting rest of foot follow after.

Important:  Be sure not to take the leading step on the upbeat!

Norwegian folk waltz turn:

In traditional Norwegian dances, the waltz is nearly always danced in closed shoulder-waist position, rather than so-called "waltz" position.  The steps are "springy" with a good deal of give in the knees.  Also a slight sway from side to side is characteristic.

W's curtsey as in Åttetur:

Of the two types of W's curtsies used in Norwegian dances, this is the simpler one, referred to in Norway as "dipping the candle".  It is done as follows:

Bow head, and keeping weight primarily on R foot, place L toe behind R foot and go straight down so deep that L knee touches floor, keeping back fairly straight (Count 1, 2, 3), rise up again, returning L foot to alongside R foot, lifting head at very last (Count 4, 5, 6).


Although Åttetur literally means "Eight Figure" or "Eightsome" and was originally danced by eight persons (four couples), this Norwegian circle waltz is nowadays danced by any number of couples in a small ring.  It is from the district of Asker, near Oslo.  Tempo varies form musician to musician, but the slow version as on the record is officially recommended.

Leisurely and dignified, in sharp contrast to the Norwegian reinlendar and reel, Åttetur is a style dance from the late rococo period, and incorporates the deep bows and curtsies so essential to the dances of that florid era.  Utmost grace should be stressed throughout.

The "Skandia" recording spans CD tracks 33 and 34.  The music was recorded with enough music for twice through the dance.  Dances may want more.  Since the introduction is a track separate from the dance music, just skip to the beginning of the track when the Waltz turn ends to get more repeats.

Copyright © 1997 Skandia Music Foundation Åttetur frå Asker

You may freely distribute this document provided you agree to retain this copyright notice and mention that a recording for this dance is on the Viking Skandia CD, available from www.folkdancing.com.